Safer Bristol launches drug treatment services

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A rise in the use of "non-traditional" drugs is being tackled with five new services being set up in Bristol.

A recent survey showed "very small numbers" used crack or heroin but a rise in the use of drugs such as ecstasy, mephedrone and laughing gas.

The services, costing £278,000, were commissioned by Safer Bristol to meet these changing needs of drug users.

Bristol councillor Gary Hopkins said they needed to provide the right drug treatment services for people's needs.

Drop-in clinic

As well as a change in drugs being used, the survey revealed people aged 18 to 24, gay men and bisexuals were among the groups most likely to use a range of substances.

"We have been working to commission services [that] have been shown to be effective in helping people using alcohol and drugs other than opiates," said Mark McNally, from Safer Bristol.

"And we also wanted to fund services to support people who have child care responsibilities in order to help them achieve recovery and to reduce the risks to their children."

The new services include the Bristol Specialist Drug and Alcohol Service (BSDAS) which has been awarded £70,000 to set up a drop-in clinic targeting younger non-opiate users and members of the lesbian, gay and bi-sexual (LGBT) community.

The Bristol Drugs Service, People Using Other Drugs (POD) has also been awarded £50,000 to promote a greater awareness of services for non-opiate users.

Mr Hopkins, cabinet member for community safety for Bristol City Council, said: "In Bristol we have very high quality services but we want to ensure that we will continue providing the right drug treatment services to match the needs of local people.

"And in particular to provide support to families where there is a drug or alcohol problem."

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